The First Heat OF Premier League IV Goes To Phil Laak
Sunday, 14. February 2010

Defending champion J.C. Tran was defeated by Phil “The Unabomber” Laak in heads-up play in the opening heat of the PartyPoker Premier League IV yesterday evening. Laak defeated a very strong field of players including Tran, Ian Frazer, Daniel Negreanu, Luke Schwartz, Roland De Wolfe and Vanessa Rousso to earn himself 16 league points.

Laak won the PartyPoker World Open this past October and continued his streak Friday. He first knocked out Negreanu when Laak drew [6][6] against Negreanu’s [6][5]. The flop landed [10][6][5] and Negreanu could not do anything against Laak’s set of sixes. Negreanu hit the rails at eighth place and failed to collect a point in the first heat.

Frazer was the next to fall to Laak. Laak landed pocket eights and raised pre-flop. Frazer landed pocket kings and re-raised to 50,000. Laak then pushed all-in and Frazer threw his remaining 295,000 into the pot only to watch Laak flop a set of eights. Frazer was out in seventh place and collected two league points.

After De Wolf, with pocket aces, was eliminated by Timoshenko, Schwartz received a walloping by Laak. The two saw a flop of [K][K][7] with Schwartz holding pocket queens and Laak holding [K][7] for a full house. The flop saw a bet of 40,000 from Schwartz which was summarily called by Laak. The turn dropped an [8] which was checked by both players and Schwartz led out with a 130,000 bet when the [2♥] fell on the river. Schwartz mucked his hand when Laak moved all in. Tran later eliminated Schwartz in fifth place earning him four league points.

Vanessa Rousso was the next to fall at the edge of Laak’s sword. The two went all in pre-flop; Laak with [K][6] and Rousso with pocket fives. Laak made a pair of kings on the flop and Rousso was out at fourth place with six league points.

Laak dominated the last two players seated at the table with the majority of the chips in play. With [Q][3], Timoshenko moved all in from the small blind against Laak’s [K][10]. Timoshenko fell to Laak when Laak flopped a pair of kings and made the set on the turn to take a huge chip lead against Tran heading into heads-up play.

In the final hand of the heat, Tran raised pre-flop with [A][5] and Laak re-raised all in with [K][7]. Tran called and Laak hit a [7] on the flop and managed to avoid an ace on both the turn and the river to claim victory in the first heat.

The second heat of PartyPoker Premier League IV is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM PT at the M Resort in Las Vegas. Laak, Tran, Timoshenko and DeWolfe are slated to return with David Benyamine, Tony G, Phil Hellmuth and the online qualifier, Giovanni Safina, making their first appearance.

PartyPoker runs regular qualifiers to their Premier League tournament and all of the big live tournament games around the world.